The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is to begin separating dangerous extremists from the mainstream prison population in Britain.
The MoJ said on Friday said that three separation centres are to be created, and will form part of the wider government strategy to tackle extremism in prisons.
The new rules, published by Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the MoJ, Sam Gyimah, will see the new separation centres holding the most subversive offenders to prevent them influencing other prisoners.
An amendment to prison rules has been laid before the British Parliament Friday so the authorities can place prisoners in the new centers if they are involved in planning terrorism, or are considered to pose a risk to national security.
“Those who are spreading views that might encourage or influence others to commit terrorism crimes, or anyone whose views are being used in a way which undermines good order and security in prisons, may also be placed in one of the centres,” said an MoJ spokesman in London.
The first centre will be up and running at Frankland Prison in northeast England in the coming weeks, with two further units to follow at other prison establishments.
Gyimah said: “Any form of extremism must be defeated wherever it is found, and it is right that we separate those who pose the greatest risk in order to limit their influence over other prisoners.
“These centers are a crucial part of our wider strategy to help tackle extremism in prisons and ensure the safety and security of both our prisons and the wider public.”
Once in a center, prisoners will be reviewed by experts every three months and will only be returned to the mainstream prison population if it is considered that the risk they present has reduced.
The centers form part of the wider strategy to tackle extremism, which includes the formation of a new directorate for security, order and counter-terrorism, responsible for monitoring and dealing with the evolving threat of extremism.
It will also see extremist literature being banned from prisons, and the removal of anyone from communal worship who is promoting dangerous views.
In addition, a new training package to identify, report and combat extremism is to be rolled out to all prison officers.